BENEFITS OF ALCOHOL POST-INJURY?
In general, if you’ve been in an accident, alcohol is not what the doctor orders. However, new research shows that if you have an accident and there’s alcohol in your bloodstream, it just may boost your survival chances. According to a study from the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health, injured patients were less likely to die in the hospital if they had alcohol in their blood. “After an injury, if you are intoxicated there seems to be a pretty substantial protective effect,” said Lee Friedman, author of the study, which appears in the December issue of the journal alcohol, “the more alcohol you have in your system, the more the protective effect.”
Friedman analyzed Illinois Trauma Registry data who were tested for blood alcohol content, which ranged from zero to O.5 percent at the time they were admitted to the trauma unit. The study examined the relationship of alcohol dosage to in-hospital mortality following traumatic injuries. Alcohol benefited patients across the range of injuries, with burns being the only exception. The benefit extended from the lowest blood alcohol concentration (below O.1 percent) through the highest levels (up to O.5 percent). “At the higher levels of blood alcohol concentration, there was a reduction of almost 5O percent in hospital mortality rates,” Friedman said. “This protective benefit persists even after taking into account injury severity and other factors known to be strongly associated with mortality following an injury.”